Day 1: Airports & Globe Theater
When it’s snowing in Chicago on April 8th, you know its time for one thing” — freezing cold Cubs baseball! Just kidding. It means its time to go to London for spring break. We took the Blue Line to O’Hare where we met up with Jo’s friend, Jenn, who is joining us for this trip!
Learning from our Norway trip, we have experience dealing with “partner” airlines. This time, our flight to London is an American Airlines flight operated by British Airways. We checked in early and managed to get three seats next to each other, even with our lowly peasant no-backsies, no-assigned seats, no-nothing tickets. Security was pretty quick and since we left for the airport right after work for a 9:15 pm flight, we had plenty of time to sit down for a kick-off dinner (Hub 51).
After boarding a very hot plane (perhaps due to de-icing at O’Hare, but also due to the fact that this aircraftt didn’t have air vents above each seat???) and enduring an overnight flight, we landed late Saturday morning at Heathrow right on time. We quickly figured out the tube system and made our way to Ellen’s flat (thanks, Ellen!). Fun fact: We’re staying just down the street from where Sir Alec Guinness was born.
After settling in, we all determined that naps were the best next step. Eventually Jenn and Jo ventured out and walked around the neighborhood to the closest market. We picked up a few breakfast, snacks, and drink essentials then successfully navigated back to the flat (yay shortcuts!).
Our evening plan was tickets to The Merchant of Venice at the Sam Wanamaker theater “€ an indoor, candlelit-only addition to the Shakespeare Globe Theater. We were lucky to get tickets to a show in this theater, because today was the finale of their winter season.
At the show, Jenn and Jo sat in the first row on the back corner of the stage, right up in the action, and Matt sat in the 3rd row on the opposite side. The production put a modern twist on the classic Shakespeare story. To wit, this show opened with an a cappella version of “I’ve Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyes Peas, and turned the gold-silver-lead test for Portia’s suitors into a glamorous version of Deal or No Deal.
After the show, we headed back to Ellen’s flat and picked up some frozen pizzas along the way for an easy, late dinner. Just because we’re in a big city with some of the world’s best restaurants, doesn’t mean Matt and Jo’s utilitarian travel food strategy is going to change. Sorry, Jenn! We enjoyed our pizza and ciders to end the night.
Tomorrow’s plans include fancy high tea and a production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. After of course, sleeping in a bit and having coffee on the balcony.